Campaigners to demand ‘internationalist response’ to coronavirus 

Another Europe is Possible, a left wing group campaigning against the politics of Brexit, is to launch a campaign for an internationalist response to Covid-19 crisis, contrasting this with the current approach of the UK government, which it says is “slow, weak and driven by a political class high on British nationalism”. 

23rd March 2020

  • Another Europe is Possible to launch campaign calling for an internationalist response to the coronavirus crisis, with pooled resources and an overhaul of the pharmaceutical industry
  • No one must fall through the cracks or die because of their immigration status, say campaigners
  • Group attacks government response as “slow, weak and driven by a political class high on British nationalism”
  • Campaign to consist of banners and posters displayed from windows, as well as online methods and public pressure

Another Europe is Possible, a left wing group campaigning against the politics of Brexit, is to launch a campaign for an internationalist response to Covid-19 crisis, contrasting this with the current approach of the UK government, which it says is “slow, weak and driven by a political class high on British nationalism”. 

The full demands of the campaign can be viewed online here. 

Campaigners are demanding a vaccine released on open licence, a complete overhaul of the pharmaceutical industry based on public ownership, and pooled resources across borders to deal with the humanitarian crisis. As starting point for this, Britain must remain a member of the European Medical Agency, and the Brexit transition period must be extended until the crisis is over, it says. 

The campaign will also put forward calls for an anti-racist response to the crisis, pushing back against anti-migrant politics and the far right. In particular, campaigners argue that all social protections and workplace benefits must extend to everyone, regardless of immigration status, and that Hostile Environment policies must be lifted. Already, more than 300 refugees have been released from immigration detention following legal action. 

As well as online methods and public pressure, supporters will use posters and banners hung out of windows to get their message across – as many citizens of countries under lockdown have done.

Nadia Whittome, MP for Nottingham East, said: 
“When a vaccine is discovered and we begin to pick up the pieces from this crisis, pharmaceutical companies cannot be allowed to hold the world to ransom. We must demand international action by governments to ensure that the vaccine is free and available to everyone, immediately – and that the pharmaceutical industry is put at the disposal of the public good.”

Michael Chessum, national organiser for Another Europe is Possible, said: 
“The UK government’s response has been slow, weak and driven by a political class high on British nationalism. Acting in isolation and refusing to learn the lessons of Italy and other countries, it has moved far too late to stop the epidemic, put in place less comprehensive measures to help ordinary people, and has simply refused to conduct mass testing. To get through this, we are going to need to do the opposite: come together across borders and pool resources and equipment. It would be utterly irresponsible for the government to allow the Brexit transition period to expire, or to leave the European Medical Agency, while this crisis is ongoing.”

Ana Oppenheim, a migrants’ rights activists and organiser for Another Europe is Possible, said: 
“Pulling together means that no one must be allowed to fall through the cracks, and no one must die, because of their immigration status. The Hostile Environment has deliberately pushed migrants to the margins of society, and stripped them of their right to healthcare and security in their everyday lives. These measures must all be scrapped immediately, and the government must make it clear that all social protections will be extended to everyone, regardless of where they are from or their status in the UK.”

ENDS
NOTES

1. For more information, ring Michael on 07964791663 or email info@anothereurope.org
2. The full demands of the campaign can be viewed online here. 


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